Next in our series of Lessons Learnt from Telemarketing: The Art of Small Talk

Small talk is not something that comes naturally to everyone, but it’s a great skill to have when you’re in the telemarketing industry. Being able to chat easily with people from all walks of life is definitely a good way to set your customers at ease and, in turn, build that essential trust and good feeling that leads to successful partnerships and sales. At the same time, know how to be succinct and keep things to the point if that’s the conversational style required.

Adapting your Style

Not only is making small talk often key to success, but also being able to adapt your style to each call – every person has a different way of speaking and communicating, so being able to identify the type of tone and chat that may work best is a great skill to have! It can be off-putting to the receiver if they are communicating one way, and the caller in another, and crossed wires (excuse the pun) don’t usually make for strong lead generation.

It’s also important to be able to shift gears throughout a conversation. You may think you understand how the person on the other end like to talk, only to find that they change mood as your call continues. If this happens, and it does often, then you need to be able to fluidly move with it. Keep yourself open to changing tack; our whole ethos revolves around not sticking to a rigid script and this is part of that.

Small Talk Starters

If you’re not sure how to start a conversation off once the initial pleasantries have been said or find your topics limited, here are some ideas for small talk starting points:

  • Did you watch the Oscars (or insert another significant event here) last night? Did you enjoy it?
  • Have you read the Guardian headline today on (significant news)? What’s your take on it?
  • Hasn’t the weather been sunny lately! It’s been lovely being able to get out and about after all the snow!
  • What’s the most interesting thing about your work?
  • How was your weekend?
  • What have you got planned for this week/evening?

Ending a Conversation

Of course, small talk can only keep a conversation going so long; there has to be a point where you realise that things need to wrap up; successfully or not, you can’t keep chatting all day. There are some polite ways to draw things to a close without it being awkward, such as:

  • It’s been so nice talking with you
  • Let’s diarise another chat in a month’s time
  • Hope the rest of your week goes well
  • Have a lovely evening
  • Thanks so much for your time